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Conversations with Christian Sesma

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christian Sesma.

Hi Christian, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Always a mega movie geek and comic book nerd, I’m a 1st gen Mexican American, born and raised in Palm Springs. I grew up in the family restaurant business and went to SDSU following a passion for Cultural Anthropology. After I graduated, I came back to franchise the restaurant but landed in the hospital, near death, with a ruptured appendix. Hospitalized for a month, I was inspired or “called” to try making a short film of my own, and the rest is history. That was in 2005 and now 13 feature films later, I have made a name for myself as an indie action writer/director. And now re-discovering my legacy thru the art of food, I have launched a series of pop-ups of my new Mexican cuisine based on the family dishes I grew up with. So I would consider myself a moviemaker, chef and family man, living in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
My journey has been an absolute adventure. And I believe in any good adventure there’s pitfalls and hard-fought victories along the way. Being 100% candid, my younger years were definitely a sordid past and my path really began with my decision to get clean and sober 26 years ago at the age of 18. My life has truly been a blessing since. Falling in love early, getting married at 21, having our first daughter while finishing college and working full time, I’d say that following my heart has always been the road less traveled. Then making the artist’s life choice to leave the stability of the family business to follow my passion in filmmaking? That’s insane, according to my parents. And I would say they weren’t necessarily wrong. We lost everything early on, so many sacrifices. Homes, cars, stability, etc. But my wife supported me the entire way. And finally being a filmmaker became a career. One that has given me the life I’ve always dreamed of. Traveling the world making movies with my best friends and telling the stories I enjoy. This business is a ruthless and hard knocks journey but through an amazing support system, great friends and a tight inner circle we have managed to keep coming out on top I believe. Now also adding the food game to this already wild journey, it’s just added another layer of challenges and fun.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I think what’s sets me apart is that I feel that I’m a mainstream Latino filmmaker telling those kinds of stories. I grew up as an 80s kid in love with Lucas, Spielberg, popcorn fantasy adventure films and shows. And sadly there isn’t many of us in Hollywood telling those kind of stories and or represented on screen in these genres. I want to see Latino superhero’s and faces leading giant tentpoles or heading giant streaming series. I specialize as a writer/director in genre storytelling best known in the indie film space but really passionate with the long form of TV. To be honest, I am very proud of the ability to balance home life and Hollywood. I’m really proud of the dad I am to my two daughters. And I really do attribute that to the tools and spiritual skills I learned from being sober so early in life. And of course, there’s projects I look at and say wow that came close to showing what I can do, but honestly, until my name is there making the next Star Wars, Marvel, DC type projects, etc… That’s when I’ll be likes, yes, I’m home. This is where I’ll shine.

What matters most to you?
Family. Family is the foundation in which all else is built for me. It’s my fortress of solitude. My rock that allows me to go out and live this crazy, dynamic and creative life. To know my girls and my wife are taken care of and emotionally, spiritually and physically healthy is what it’s all about. That’s who I celebrate and enjoy life with no matter the circumstance. Good times and hard times, the family I have makes me a man of means no matter my work life.

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